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Archive for April 30th, 2011

NY Gov Declares State of Emergency

Posted by feww on April 30, 2011

Flood Damage ‘breathtakingly bad’

NY Gov. Cuomo has declared a State Disaster Emergency in Essex County

States of emergency have also been declared for Clinton County, Tupper, Champlain and  portions of City of Plattsburgh following severe flooding, power outages and damage caused by storms

At least two bridges have reportedly collapsed and many homes flooded in Moriah.

Anna Mayhood of Moriah leaped to safety from her car, shown here, after the Broad Street Bridge in Moriah collapsed beneath it Wednesday morning. Torrential rains flooded the stream under the bridge and undermined it. Press Republican Staff Photo / Lohr McKinstry. Image may be subject to copyright.

“It was breathtakingly bad,” Cuomo said about his tour of flooded areas. “I’d seen photos, but it’s much worse when you see it in person.”

“That woman was going over the bridge. Thank God that turned out as well as it did. If I saw her, I would say to her, ‘You are lucky; light a candle.'”

U.S. Flood Map

309 Locations in flood during 48 hour forecast period

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U-S Tornadoes: Pray for the Dead

Posted by feww on April 30, 2011

Governor Bentley Declares Sunday as a Day of Prayer for the Dead

Governor Robert Bentley signed a proclamation late yesterday calling for a statewide “Day of Prayer” on Sunday, May 1 to remember those who lost their lives in Wednesday’s storms.

“I am asking all people of faith in our state to set aside Sunday as a Day of Prayer in memory of our family, friends, and neighbors who were taken from us in this shared tragedy,” Governor Bentley said.  “It is appropriate that we pray for those we lost, for those who loved them, and for those still suffering.  We all need divine guidance and providence in the days ahead as we seek not only to rebuild, but to heal.”

Bentley has also issued a directive for flags on all state government buildings to fly half-staff until Monday, May 2 at 8:00 a.m.

Tornado and Storm Death Toll in Alabama

At least 238 people lost their lives with more than 1,700 others injured.

Tornado and Storm Death Toll across Southern US

At least 346  deaths have so far been reported across southern United States, including 108 fatalities in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.

In Tuscaloosa the death toll has reached 42, but cadaver dogs are brought in to search for more bodies, a report said.

The death toll across the region is expected to rise.

The Dark Wednesday: SPC received 211 tornado reports among a total of 806 severe weather reports.

Tuesday April 26 tornado and severe weather reports

Other Damage

  • Tornadoes and storms have destroyed/damaged at least 10,000 buildings across the devastated areas.
  • An estimated 25,000 people are left homeless.
  • The tornadoes have paralyzed Alabama’s poultry industry, America’s  3rd largest chicken producer.
  • A number of other industries have been severely affected as a result of Wednesday’s tornadoes.

Mega Tornadoes

The National Weather Service said the twister that touched down at Smithville in Monroe County, Mississippi on Wednesday was an EF-5 (F5) tornado, with top winds of 205MPH.

Super-cell T-storms

“These were the most intense super-cell thunderstorms that I think anybody who was out there forecasting has ever seen,” Greg Carbin of the SPC in Oklahoma told the AP.

The twister that destroyed large parts of Tuscaloosa, is also believed to have been an EF-5 tornado [See below for Fujita Pearson Tornado Scale.]

“We have neighborhoods that have been basically removed from the map,” Tuscaloosa mayor Walter Maddox said, describing the damage as a path of ”utter destruction.”

Another large twister, possibly an EF-4 tornado, reportedly destroyed about 90% of the town Hackleburg, in Alabama’s Marion County.

The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-4 tornado touched down in the Tennessee Valley, a report said.

States of Emergency

Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia have declared states of emergency.

Storm Shuts Down 3  TVA Nuclear Reactors at Browns Ferry in Alabama

The 3 reactors at TVA’s 3,297-megawatt Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama, the second largest in the US,  switched over to emergency diesel generators to supply power for the reactors cooling system at 5:30 EDT (22:30 UTC) after storms knocked out  transmission lines that supplied power, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency said. More…

The tornadoes and violent storms left about a million homes and business without power, mostly in northern Alabama and Mississippi, a report said.

“Roughly 70 high powered transmission lines remain out of service, with some creating dangerous situations because they’ve fallen across roads.”

Browns Ferry nuclear plant won’t restart so long as so much of the grid is down, TVA chief of operations was quoted as saying.

“When the system is ready for the plant, we can begin the process of restarting it. But we have to get the transmission system ready.”

On April 20, a tornado reportedly damaged the switchyard at Dominion’s Surry Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) forcing both aging reactor units to shut down.

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Global Disasters

Fujita Pearson Tornado Scale

F-0  [39%]
40-72 mph, chimney damage, tree branches broken

F-1 [35%]
73-112 mph, mobile homes pushed off foundation or overturned

F-2 [20%]
113-157 mph, considerable damage, mobile homes demolished, trees uprooted

F-3  [5%]
158-205 mph, roofs and walls torn down, trains overturned, cars thrown

F-4 [0.9%]
207-260 mph, well-constructed walls leveled

F-5 [<0.1%]
261-318 mph, homes lifted off foundation and carried considerable distances, autos thrown as far as 100 meters

Source: US gov. [Figures in brackets represent long-term relative frequencies—revised by FIRE-EARTH]

F5 and EF5 Tornadoes of the United States – [1950-present]

This is a map and list of tornadoes since 1950 which the National Weather Service has rated F5 (before 2007) or EF5 (equivalent, 2007 onward, the most intense damage category on the Fujita and Enhanced Fujita damage scales. The tornadoes are numbered in the order they happened since 1950; so the numbers run from the bottom up. NOTE: Since the (E)F-scale is a subjective damage assessment tool, official NWS ratings (as logged in Storm Data and in the NSSFC/SPC database) may differ on occasion from those of other tornado databases, such as those of the Tornado Project or University of Chicago. [Mirrored from Storm Prediction Center]

NUMBER	DATE                    LOCATION
======	=====================   =================

53	April 27, 2011		Smithville MS
52	May 25, 2008		Parkersburg IA
51      May 4, 2007             Greensburg KS
50	May 3, 1999             Bridge Creek/Moore OK
49	April 16, 1998          Waynesboro TN
48	April 8, 1998           Pleasant Grove AL
47	May 27, 1997            Jarrell TX
46	July 18, 1996           Oakfield WI
45	June 16, 1992           Chandler MN
44	April 26, 1991          Andover KS
43	August 28, 1990         Plainfield IL
42	March 13, 1990          Goessel KS
41	March 13, 1990          Hesston KS
40	May 31, 1985            Niles OH
39	June 7, 1984            Barneveld WI
38	April 2, 1982           Broken Bow OK
37	April 4, 1977           Birmingham AL
36	June 13, 1976           Jordan IA
35	April 19, 1976          Brownwood TX
34	March 26, 1976          Spiro OK
33	April 3, 1974           Guin AL (#101)
32	April 3, 1974           Tanner AL (#98)
31	April 3, 1974           Mt. Hope AL (#96)
30	April 3, 1974           Sayler Park OH (#43)
29	April 3, 1974           Brandenburg KY (# 47)
28	April 3, 1974           Xenia OH  (# 37)
27	April 3, 1974           Daisy Hill IN  (# 40)
26	May 6, 1973             Valley Mills TX
25	February 21, 1971       Delhi LA
24	May 11, 1970            Lubbock TX
23	June 13, 1968           Tracy MN
22	May 15, 1968            Maynard IA
21	May 15, 1968            Charles City IA
20	April 23, 1968          Gallipolis OH
19	October 14, 1966        Belmond IA
18	June 8, 1966            Topeka KS
17	March 3, 1966           Jackson MS
16	May 8, 1965             Gregory SD
15	May 5, 1964             Bradshaw NE
14	April 3, 1964           Wichita Falls TX
13	May 5, 1960             Prague OK
12	June 4, 1958            Menomonie WI
11	December 18, 1957       Murphysboro IL
10	June 20, 1957           Fargo ND
9	May 20, 1957            Ruskin Heights MO
8	April 3, 1956           Grand Rapids MI
7	May 25, 1955            Udall KS
6	May 25, 1955            Blackwell OK
5	December 5, 1953        Vicksburg MS
4	June 27, 1953           Adair IA
3	June 8, 1953            Flint MI
2	May 29, 1953            Ft. Rice ND
1	May 11, 1953            Waco TX


[Mirrored from Storm Prediction Center]

*** IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ENHANCED F-SCALE WINDS: The Enhanced F-scale still is a set of wind estimates (not measurements) based on damage. Its uses three-second gusts estimated at the point of damage based on a judgment of 8 levels of damage to the 28 indicators listed HERE. These estimates vary with height and exposure. Important: The 3 second gust is not the same wind as in standard surface observations. Standard measurements are taken by weather stations in open exposures, using a directly measured, “one minute mile” speed.

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Texas Wildfires – Update April 30

Posted by feww on April 30, 2011

Texas wildfires consume 2.1m acres


About 7,000 fires scorch more than 2 million acres, 1,132 structures

NWS has issued Red Flag Warnings for parts of California, Nevada, Arizona,  New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida.

In the past seven days, TFS has responded to 96 fires for 119,026 acres.

YTD Totals

  • Fires: 6,973
  • Acres burned: 2,124,343
  • Structures lost: 1,132 [Texas fires destroy 1370 homes]

Click image to enter NWS portal.


  • Two firefighters have lost their lives, including one near Lubbock who was killed yesterday.
  • Two sightseers were killed as their plane  circled over fires Tuesday.

Cattle and Horses

NO official figures have been released so far. However,  FIRE-EARTH estimates that up to 50,000 heads of cattle and horses may have been killed or seriously injured as a result of the deadly fires since beginning of the year.

“Between 400,000 and 500,000 cattle have been injured by the fire but survived,” a report said.

Dry Conditions Decimating Texas Crops

Texas farmers produce about 100 million bushels of wheat on average each year, but they would be lucky to produce  a third of that amount this year, says Texas AgriLife Extension Service .

“This year’s crop condition ratings show about 40 percent of the Texas crop in very poor condition, which compares with 65 percent very poor in March of 2006 and 53 percent very poor in May of 2009,” said Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension economist specializing in grain marketing and policy.

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